An Australian response to Michael Bérubé

Raelene Frances*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article supports Bérubé's conclusion regarding the intellectual health of humanities scholarship. However, it argues that the case of 'contingent faculty' - or academics with short-term or casual contracts - is in many respects different in Australia to the situation he outlines for the US. Whilst a variety of funding pressures have encouraged Australian universities to employ more staff on non-continuing contracts, organised union action has to some extent limited the number of such positions. Unionists have also been involved in formulating new categories of employment to provide more secure jobs with better career paths for staff employed in teaching intensive roles. However, the success of these efforts has been mixed, with unintended consequences of some of these strategies and uneven take up by universities of new categories of academic staff. Both university administrators and unionists continue to grapple with the complexities of these issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-222
Number of pages6
JournalArts and Humanities in Higher Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


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